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Dee Houchen, senior director of ERP solutions at Oracle, discusses how companies can prepare to start using AI-powered ERP
AI ERP-There’s a term in psychology and science fiction that describes when technology advances too fast for the individual to understand or respond to it: technoshock. All industries are currently experiencing their own technoshock when carrying out enterprise resource planning (ERP). Progress marches on as old, established industries are made redundant or weakened past the point of no return by the latest technologies.
To survive, businesses should embrace the latest technologies and quickly. Central to this will be a new generation of ERP systems powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
However, crucially, companies should also bring their employees along with them. Machines and people, working in concert, will be critical to the success of tomorrow’s ERP systems and enterprises.
AI is rewriting the rules of business
ERP technology is hardly a trade secret. Even without AI, these systems have given organisations incredible advantages – increased efficiency, lower costs and a single source of truth that enables agility and rapid transformation.
However, there’s always room for improvement. Current ERP systems are heavily customised, leading to a lack of interoperability as updates are rolled out. An important variable or change can’t be introduced speedily without the system breaking down, so organisations usually have to spend enormous amounts of time and resources retraining the models.
Luckily, we’re on the cusp of a true AI revolution in ERP. AI-powered autonomous databases are becoming far more responsive to inputs, changing rules autonomously in reaction to real-time user feedback. Operations won’t need to be stopped to rewrite the rulebook – the rules will adapt to meet the needs of the game.
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When an ERP project fails, it’s usually down to the organisation having too much, too little or bad quality data, compounded by a lack of intuitive tools and executive backing. Key information is missing or siloed, making the complete visibility and insight organisations need to be competitive little more than a pipedream. Often, the will to tackle these challenges is missing within the business, so the project is allowed to die and its potential is lost.